Chances wrecked… Tufton resigns as constituency chairman
Gary Spaulding, Senior Gleaner Writer
Dr Christopher Tufton, the former political ‘golden boy’ believes the recent Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) leadership controversy has all but wrecked his chance to secure the South West St Elizabeth seat he once held.
Tufton, the articulate, young politician confirmed last night that he has resigned as chairman of the constituency, but did not state whether he was eyeing any other seat at this time.
He said he communicated his decision to the JLP Leader, Andrew Holness, and the executive members of the constituency committee yesterday.
It has been a challenging two years for the man who was highly praised for his performance as Agriculture Minister, before he lost the seat in the December 2011 General Elections to People’s National Party newcomer, Hugh Buchanan.
In December, Tufton eased out of the JLP deputy leadership race after the party secretariat declared that his nomination for Area Council Four was invalid in the midst of the contest between Holness and Audley Shaw.
Then came the leadership election and his controversial barbs that were perceived to have been directed at Holness.
Tufton was later booted from the Senate just as controversially through pre-dated resignation letters.
Yesterday, Tufton said after careful consideration, he has decided that it would not be in the interest of the JLP organization in South West St Elizabeth, the constituency that he served as Member of Parliament for four years, to be their candidate for the next general election.
“This has been an intensely difficult decision for me, but after consulting with my family, members of the constituency and other supporters and much prayer and reflection, I have concluded that the South West St Elizabeth JLP organization would stand a better chance at electoral success if a candidate unaffected by the political controversies related to the recent leadership race, unite the constituency to offer the formidable challenge necessary to return the seat to the JLP.”
Tufton said he has committed himself to working with the political organization in the constituency to ensure that a suitable successor is identified, in the best interest of the constituency and the party.
“The constituency has eminently qualified and politically experienced individuals who will also be able to assist in guiding the transition process,” Tufton said.
However, Tufton reiterated his loyalty to the JLP and expressed a willingness to serve in any way possible to ensure a victory for the party in future elections.
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